Climate Mitigation and Adaptation News
August 10, 2017
A biweekly newsletter of the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative

We are excited to share with you the news that Sacramento has been chosen by Volkswagen (VW) subsidiary Electrify America as the first of its two Green Cities. Electrify America will invest $44 million in Sacramento for zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) initiatives such as charging stations, ZEV car share, and other "ride and drive" opportunities. Green City is part of VW's larger effort to mitigate environmental harm from its emissions-cheating scandal by investing $800 million over 10 years in ZEV infrastructure, public outreach, and access to vehicles for disadvantaged communities. The first $200 million effort will also build a statewide high-speed charging network and other infrastructure around the state, launch a multilingual public outreach and education campaign, and begin ZEV access projects. Up to 35 percent of the investments will benefit disadvantaged communities. We are excited to see how Green City can spur further collaboration and action around ZEV transportation, clean air, and urban resilience.
Annual report on Lake Tahoe finds climate impacts on water and forests
Lake Tahoe's famously clear waters continue to warm, and the surrounding forests face dire threats due to drought, disease and insects, according to the annual Tahoe State of the Lake report by UC Davis researchers. Lake Tahoe has warmed by half a degree Fahrenheit each year for the past four years - 14 times faster than the historic rate. Earlier spring snowmelt and longer summers may threaten ecosystems and their native species. This past year was also the fifth in a row without "deep mixing," when cool, oxygen-water sinks to the lake's depths to sustain life while nutrient-rich warmer water rise, likely due to fewer days of cool weather. Tree mortality has also increased drastically, with dead trees more than doubling from 35,000 in 2015 to 72,000 last year due to the drought combined with insects and disease. ( SacBee)
California's drought isn't over yet for rural San Joaquin Valley
Photo: Florence Low/California Department of Water Resources
Full reservoirs and swollen rivers don't mean that much to people living in rural San Joaquin Valley, where thousands of residents relying on groundwater still have dry wells. The San Joaquin aquifer, the second largest in the US, has been dramatically drawn down by the valley's $40 billion-a-year agriculture industry. Legislation passed in 2014 to help regulate groundwater pumping won't be fully implemented until 2040, leaving communities vulnerable to further groundwater shortages and having to compete with big farms digging deeper wells. In addition, many of those people live in small, unincorporated communities, which often lack the resources to properly maintain community water systems. Many of these rural residents will still be without reliable water this year while the rest of California debates landscape watering rules. ( Link)
High temperatures and low humidity at night fueling California wildfires
Photo: KTLA
Firefighters say that in recent years wildfires in California aren't slowing down at night like they used to, due to high temperatures and low humidity at night. Low nighttime humidity allowed the Detwiler Fire to keep growing, according to CalFire, nearly doubling overnight from the evening of July 18 to the next morning. The Valley, Rim, and King Fire also experienced similar nighttime growths. Temperature drops at night are important to wildfire managers, said UC Berkeley fire science professor Scott Stephens. High daytime temperatures are also a problem - the Detwiler Fire erupted at the end of a 16-day string of triple-digit days. ( Link)
Meeting Paris climate goals could prevent 12,820 heat wave deaths in US
Meeting the targets in the Paris Agreement would save thousands of lives in the US from extreme heat, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement means that summer heat wave fatalities would increase to about 29,850 per year by the 2090s, under a business-as-usual climate scenario. Concrete jungles like New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis are poised to bear the brunt of these potential casualties, since urban areas trap more heat than suburbs. Within cities, the risks rise in economically depressed neighborhoods that lack green spaces and adequate cooling. However, meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement could lead to 12,820 fewer heat-related deaths in urban areas in the last decade of this century. ( Link)
This is how climate change will shift the world's cities
Climate change, population growth, and the urban heat island effect add up to a recipe for dangerous and potentially deadly heat for cities. Climate Central created an interactive to compare the future average summer temperatures of major cities to cities today. Cities may be shifting into a completely new temperature zone - for example, Ottawa could have the tropical climate of Belize City by 2100, and mountainous Kabul, Afghanistan could feel like coastal Colombo, India. Up to a dozen cities, such as Khartoum, Sudan, will heat up so much, their summers will have no analog currently on Earth. This shift underscores that without mitigation, the planet could be headed toward a state humans have never experienced. ( Climate Central)
Conserving water with floating solar panels
Photo: Corey Binns
Floating solar panels on top of reservoirs and ponds can help slow down water loss due to evaporation and reduce the growth of algae, which can clog up filters and pumps at water treatment facilities and degrade water quality. In California alone, more than 20 gigawatts of floating solar could be added to otherwise unused bodies of water, excluding recreational and scenic areas like Lake Tahoe. If done properly, panels on water could power 20 to 30 percent of the state's total energy needs. ( Link)
Tools and Reports
Updated: 2017 General Plan Guidelines from the Office of Planning and Research
The Governor's Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has been engaged in a thorough update of the General Plan Guidelines (GPG), a roadmap for the preparation and content of local general plans for all cities and counties in California. The first comprehensive update to the GPG since 2003, the 2017 edition incorporates legislative changes, new technical advisories, guidance documents, and additional tools and resources. Major changes include new sections on climate change, healthy communities, equitable and resilient communities, environmental justice, and economic development; compendia on infill and renewable energy; a model template for mitigation of agricultural land conversion; and a general plan mapping tool. The new online platform will allow OPR to add updated text, links, and information directly to the GPG as more resources become available. ( Link)
Upcoming Opportunities
The 2017 Mayors Challenge: An Innovation Platform for America's Mayors
Part of Bloomberg's American Cities Initiative, this nationwide competition will help hundreds of cities develop, test, and implement bold solutions to emerging challenges. Be among the first 300 cities to RSVP by August 18 and guarantee your city its own in-person Idea Accelerator workshop, designed to help city leaders strengthen idea development by drawing upon the expertise of the community. Apply by October 20, and as many as 35 "Champion Cities" will then win up to $100,000 each to test and refine their ideas. Five Mayors Challenge Winners will be selected based on the idea's vision for tackling an urgent challenge, potential for impact and successful implementation, and potential to spread to other cities. One city will win the $5 million grand prize; four others will receive $1 million implementation awards. ( Learn more and apply)
CalTrans seeks public input on SB 1 Planning Grants Guides for Adaptation
CalTrans is releasing the final drafts of the SB 1 Sustainable Communities and Adaptation Planning Grant guides for public review and comment. Caltrans will provide $20 million over three years to local and regional agencies to support resilient transportation infrastructure planning for areas that are potentially vulnerable to climate change. This funding will help these agencies conduct adaptation planning in a way to ensure transportation assets are resilient in the face of climate change. Public comments are due August 31. ( Link)
2018 Climate Leadership Award
The application period for 2018 Climate Leadership Awards is now open! Award categories include Organizational Leadership, Individual Leadership, Supply Chain Leadership, Excellence in Greenhouse Gas Management, and Innovative Partnership. Deadline: September 26. ( EPA)
Upcoming Events
SACOG's Civic Lab Forum
Thursday, August 17, noon-3pm
Sacramento Convention Center, Room 202, 1400 J St., Sacramento 
SACOG is kicking off a new initiative, Civic Lab, to help our region move to the forefront of innovations in transportation technologies and smart mobility. For the next year, Civic Lab will offer a hands-on curriculum that will challenge participants to test how car sharing, ride sharing, on-demand shuttles, intelligent transportation infrastructure, and autonomous vehicles can improve mobility. Please join SACOG to hear from experts about smart mobility and how it can shape our communities, talk with colleagues about ideas and projects they've initiated, and help move our region forward to become a national leader in transportation innovation. ( Register)
California Climate Action Planning Conference
August 24-25, 2017
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
California has emerged as a national and international leader in addressing the climate crisis. To keep our leadership and momentum, Cal Poly's City & Regional Planning Department - in partnership with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research - are proud to host the third California Climate Action Planning Conference. Learn and network with over 150 professionals in climate action, sustainability, and resilience. Planned program includes: the Scoping Plan, pathways to deep de-carbonization, successful financing and implementation, community vulnerability assessment, state planning guidance, and climate justice. ( Register; Link)
Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds: Community Meetings on Draft Updates to ARB Funding Guidelines
Thursday, August 31, 10am-noon
Sierra Hearing Room, Cal/EPA Bldg, 1001 I St., Sacramento
You are invited to participate in a community meeting to provide input on the draft updates to the Air Resources Board's funding guidelines for investing cap-and-trade proceeds to reduce GHG emissions, improve public health, and strengthen the economy. Your input will help inform administering agencies in the design and implementation of their California Climate Investments programs. The   draft Funding Guidelines include updated provisions to incorporate the requirements of Assembly Bill 1550 for disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households, as well as revisions to reflect lessons learned and feedback from stakeholders during initial program implementation. ( Link)
CalTrans seeks public input on SB 1 Planning Grants Guides for Adaptation
Friday, September 1, noon-2pm
CalTrans Basement Board Room, 1120 N St., Sacramento
CalTrans has released the final drafts of the SB 1 Sustainable Communities and Adaptation Planning Grant guides for public review and comment. This public workshop will discuss the Grant Application Guides and provide the public and stakeholders with a final opportunity to provide feedback. ( Webcast)
CRC and EJCW Co-Hosted Meeting: Traditional Ecological Knowledges and Climate Adaptation Workshop
Thursday, September 7, 1-4pm
West Sacramento Community Center
CRC's next quarterly meeting on  September 7th is a special co-hosted meeting with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water! At this meeting, w e will hear from Tribal representatives about their work addressing climate impacts using Traditional Ecological Knowledges, current challenges and barriers to implementation,  and discussion of opportunities to collaborate moving forward. (Register)
Capitalizing on our Diversity: APA California Conference
September 23-26, 2017
Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J St., Sacramento
Registration is now open for the American Planning Association California Conference. The conference includes sessions on GHG analysis as related to the updated scoping plan, climate justice, climate adaptation, health and equity, and more. ( Link)
Preparing People for Climate Change in California
January 24-25, 2018
Join the International Transformational Resilience Coalition for a conference on the urgency, methods, and benefits of applying psychological and psycho-social-spiritual models to build human resilience for climate adversities. From high levels of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), to financial struggles, racism and other forms of inequity, traumatic stress is epidemic today. Climate change will aggravate all of these existing adversities, and add many new ones as well. This conference will show how California can lead the nation in building widespread levels of personal and psycho-social-spiritual resilience for the hardships generated by rising temperatures and produce multiple benefits for individuals, families, communities, and our planet's climate. Early-bird discount rate ends October 15, 2017. ( Link)
Save the date: 2018 New Partners for Smart Growth
February 1-3, 2018, San Francisco, CA
Mark your calendars for the 17th annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Francisco, California. Get involved early in the nation's largest smart growth and sustainability event by becoming a sponsor or a promotional partner. Don't forget to check out presentations and materials from this year's fantastic conference in St. Louis too. ( NPSG)
About the Capital Region Climate  Readiness  Collaborative
The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative is a membership based collaborative network designed to promote greater climate change resilience planning coordination in the six-county Sacramento Region. The purpose of this collaborative network is to create a forum where leaders from government, academia, environmental and community groups, the business community, and labor can come together to exchange information, identify vulnerabilities and data gaps, leverage resources, and advance comprehensive solutions in an effort to create stronger, sustainable, and economically viable communities in the Capital Region.

The CRC is a program of the Local Government Commission.